‘I am delighted to inform you that you have been selected as one of the three finalists to potentially win the Aspiring Talent Category’

This was one of the most exciting and awkward times I had ever experienced- sat in the library was it appropriate to do a victory dance?! Yes, I did it anyway.

It was an absolutely amazing feeling to be named as a finalist for BYPY 2014. Something I never thought I’d be saying! When Rebecca nominated me for Aspiring Talent, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Am I good enough? Should I go for it? Can I stand the rejection?! Yet being backed by Rebecca and Richard who have been encouraging me since our first meeting gave me the confidence to look forward to the prospect of being a finalist. And now I am!

As soon as I received the phone call congratulating me I realised I really had to prepare myself for judging day. I still have the hard part to go- the panel interview that decides my fate, but last Monday I got to do the fun part of being a finalist, the photo shoot and filming!
My Monday was spent getting my hair done, trying my hardest to have photo worthy make up and spending time in my favourite spots in the city to remind myself why I love Birmingham. It was a lovely relaxing day, until the panic set in.

Filming. The filming that would record my nervous babbling that most probably wouldn’t make sense. The filming that would be shown to everyone on May 1st at BYPY. I felt the pressure. Yet I put my heels on, topped up my lipstick, walked into Shoosmiths at 4.15pm and ended up having a lot of fun.

I was greeted by the extremely friendly BYPY team and taken to meet the other Aspiring Talent finalists. It was lovely getting to meet the others and hear their stories. The atmosphere was not one of hostile competition but of excitement and a sense that we were all there to enjoy the experience.

Next came the filming and I have to say I think I perfected my ‘Dragon’s Den’ poses. After ten minutes of pretending to be Deborah Meaden I started to believe I was her. A girl can wish! Then came our filmed interview and by this point I was no longer nervous. The fantastic team at Slinky, our film crew for the day, made me feel really at ease and I really enjoyed telling them about my experiences and completely forgot the camera was there- I dread to think what faces I was pulling.

With the filming over with quicker than I thought next came the photo shoot. I have never had professional photos taken and couldn’t wait! Our photographer was great and I thought things were going well until I was told to pull ‘the mean girls face’. I think the closest I got was looking like I had indigestion. The final result will be very interesting- I hope he’s a whizz with photo shop!

So the day was done and now I am waiting for the email to tell me when and where I will be facing the final hurdle. Whatever the outcome I can definitely say that being shortlisted as a finalist has been an amazing experience. The honour of being in the running for this award and getting the opportunity to meet some fantastic people on the way is something I’m really grateful for. Fingers crossed for the interview but whatever the outcome, I have had a blast and cannot wait for May 1st, dress shopping here I come!